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Building Family Connections This Summer

When families participate in activities together it helps children feel supported and connected, which helps strengthen their confidence and bounce back from life’s challenges. 


Being intentional about spending time together supports children in feeling secure in their relationships, which is a key factor in strengthening confidence and resilience. Children who feel secure generally have a positive outlook and feel comfortable trying new things.


Get a blank journal and spend a few moments together each night reflecting on something for which each family member is grateful. Focus on gratitude for people and experiences rather than material things. This helps everyone discover that, even though you may have had a difficult day, there’s always something or someone for which to be thankful. 


Summer is a great opportunity to clean out the garage and closets to give to others. This helps children learn social connection and creates a feeling of happiness that comes with helping. Other ways you can give include donating to the food bank or volunteering your time in your community.


Being adventurous isn’t in everyone’s comfort zone but knowing you’re doing it as a family builds confidence and connection. Pushing comfort zones in a safe, supportive way helps reduce the fear of the unknown and develops courage and resilience. Have fun researching your new activity together. Start with small steps and remember to celebrate your successes.


Gather as many magazines as you can find and sit down as a family. Give each family member a box or bag labelled with their name. Ask each person to cut out 10 things (quotes, words or pictures) that bring a smile to their face. Have them place the chosen items in their bag. When someone in your family is experiencing feelings like sadness, anger, loneliness or frustration, have them pick something from their happiness bag to help them refocus and manage their emotions in a healthy way.

No matter what you choose to do this summer, the time you spend investing in your family is time well spent. The connections you are creating will last a lifetime!


Sara Westbrook is a professional speaker and creator of UPower Inc, offering keynotes, presentations and workshops on ‘Emotions Change Choices’ to audiences ages 4 -100. She can be found at sarawestbrook.com or on Instagram @iamsarawestbrook.


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